Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Statistics Bureau
  • Inquiry
  • Sitemap
  • Japanese

Main contents start here

Employment Status Survey

The 2002 Employment Status Survey - Summary of Results

The purpose of the Employment Status Survey is to obtain basic data for promoting various administrative policies by surveying the usual labour force status and throwing light on the actual conditions of the employment structure, changes of labour force status, wish for work, etc. in Japan.

Starting in 1956, this survey had been conducted approximately every three years until 1982. Since then, however, it has been conducted every five years, and the current survey marks the 14th one.

-See the outline of the survey for details.

I. Summary of Results

  1. Number of persons engaged in work declined for the first time since the survey started.
  2. Service industry continues to increase.
  3. Trend of days worked per year seen to be polarizing into the short-term and long-term.
  4. Young generation showing high ratio of "Changed a job".
  5. Substantial increase observed in persons wishing to change the present job because of "Low wage or salary".
  6. Females exceed 50% in the ratio of "Irregular employees".
  7. Males are on the rise in both ratios of "Wishing to work" and of "Seeking a job".
  8. Higher rate of returning to work is shown by persons who had left previous job"For one's own reason" than those "For involuntary reason".
  9. The shift from regular to irregular is under way as seen in changing the type of employment.
  10. Persons experienced changing jobs account for approximately 50%.
  11. Ratio of "Engaged in work" by prefectures.
  12. Ratio of "Changed a job" by prefectures.
  13. Ratio of "Quitted a job" by prefectures.

July 9, 2003

Statistics Bureau

Outline of Results of the 2002 Employment Status Survey (Summary)

1.Number of persons engaged in work declined for the first time since the survey started.

- Persons engaged in work as of October 1, 2002 were 65,009,000, a 3% drop from 1997.

- Decline in the number of persons engaged in work was the first since the commencement of the survey.

- Ratio of persons engaged in work to population 15 years old or more (Ratio of "Engaged in work") was 59.5%, a 3.3 points drop from 1997.

- Decline of the ratio of "Engaged in work" in work below 60% level was the first since the commencement of the survey.

Fig. 1 Trend of number and ratio of 'Engaged in work'

2.Service industry continues to increase.

- A breakdown of persons engaged in work by industry shows a decline by more than 2,000,000 from 1997 in "Manufacturing", and the first decline since the commencement of the survey in "Construction".

- "Agriculture", "Wholesale and retail trade, and eating and drinking places", "Finance and Insurance", etc. show declines, while "Services" continues to increase.

Fig. 2   Trend of number of persons engaged in work by major industry
Table 1   Number of persons engaged in work by major industry - 2002 and 1997 (1,000 persons)

3.Trend of days worked per year seen to be polarizing into the short-term and long-term.

- Days worked per year of employees show a rise in both ratios of short-term employment (less than 200 days) and long-term employment (250 days or more), indicating a trend of polarization in terms of days worked per year.

Fig. 3   Ratio of employees by days worked per year -2002 and 1997

- Working hours per week are polarizing into the work of short hours (less than 35 hours) and that of long hours (49 hours or more).

- A rise in the ratio of employed males with the work of long hours and a rise in the ratio of employed females with the work of short hours compared with males, are both noticeable.

- Most noticeable decline is seen in the range of 35 to 42 hours.

Fig.4 Component ratio of employees by sex and working hours per week - 2002 and 1997 (Days worked per year for 200 days or more)

4.Young generation showing high ratio of "Changed a job".

- The ratio of "Changed a job" of males remains on the same level, and that of females tends to rise. The ratio of "Quitted a job" is inclined upward for both sexes.

- Broken down by age group, young generation shows high ratio of "Changed a job", and both young generation and persons in early 60's show high ratio of "Quitted a job".

Fig. 5 Trend of the ratio of change of labour force status by sex

Table 2   Ratios of 'Changed a job' and 'Quitted a job' by age and sex

(Note)

Ratio of "Changed a job":

Percentage of persons engaged in work at present at the place of work that is different from one a year ago (persons who changed a job) to persons engaged in work a year ago.

Ratio of "Quitted a job":

Percentage of persons who were engaged in work a year ago but left the job and not engaged in work at present (persons who left a job) to persons engaged in work a year ago.

5.Substantial increase observed in persons wishing to change the present job because of "Low wage or salary".

- Ratio of persons wishing to change the present job to persons engaged in work (Ratio of "Wishing to change the present job") tends to increase. 
Broken down by sex, females show a higher ratio, but the gap between sexes narrows in 2002. 
Broken down by age group, 15-24 years old shows a high ratio exceeding 20%. 
As the age group goes higher, the ratio of "Wishing to change the present job" goes lower. 
Broken by sex, females of 15 - 54 years old show a high ratio, while males of 55 years old or more show a high ratio.

Fig. 6   Trend of ratio of 'Wishing to change the present job' by sex
Fig. 7   Ratio of 'Wishing to change the present job' by sex and age

- Persons wishing to change the present job because of "Low wage or salary" continue to increase in a row since 1997 to reach approximately 1.6 times 1992 figure.


Fig. 8   Trend of persons wishing to change the present job by reason for wishing to change the present job

(Note) "Others" include "To prepare for retirement", "Wish to have more time to spare", "For family reason", etc.
*Prior to the 1997 survey, the survey on this item had been taken under "Poor prospect".

6.Females exceed 50% in the ratio of "Irregular employees".

- A breakdown of the ratio of "Irregular employees" to employees by sex shows a substantial rise for both sexes during the period of 1997 to 2002; from 10.1% to 14.8% for males, and 42.2% to 50.7% for females.
On the other hand, the ratio of "Regular staffs" dropped for both sexes.

- Also in a long-range, the ratio of "Irregular employees" continues to rise. This trend is noticeable during the last 5 years for both sexes.

Fig. 9   Trend of ratio of 'Irregular employees' by sex

7.Males are on the rise in both ratios of "Wishing to work" and of "Seeking a job".

- Of persons not engaged in work, ratio of "Wishing to work" and ratio of "Seeking a job" are rising for males and declining for females. The ratio of "Wishing to work" is reversed between males and females.

- It was the first time since the commencement of the survey that the ratio of males "Wishing to work" reached 30%.

Fig. 10  Trend of ratio of 'Wishing to work' and ratio of 'Seeking a job' among persons not engaged in work by sex

- The duration of seeking a job tends to become longer continually. Especially, the ratio of males with the duration of seeking a job longer than a year has substantially risen, while that of the duration less than three months has dropped. This indicates an obvious trend of protracting the duration of seeking a job.

(Note)

Ratio of "Wishing to work" : Percentage of persons wishing to work to persons not engaged in work

Ratio of "Seeking a job" : Percentage of persons seeking a job to persons not engaged in work

Fig. 11 Trend of ratio of 'Seeking a job' by sex and duration of seeking a job

8.Higher rate of return to work is shown by persons who had left previous jobs "For one's own reason" than those "For involuntary reason".

- A breakdown of the rate of return to work among persons who left the previous job during the past 5 years by reason for leaving work shows that, in all age groups except 15 - 19 years old, leaving jobs "For one's own reason" is higher than leaving jobs "For involuntary reason".
For whichever reason for leaving the previous job, the rate of return to work is higher with males than with females in almost all age brackets.

(Note)

For involuntary reason : "Personnel retrenchment or encouraged retirement", "Bankruptcy or closedown of office".

For one's own reason : "Slump in business and uncertain future", "Temporary job", "Low wage or salary", "Bad work condition", "Temporary job", "A family member's changing a job, being transferred or relocation of the establishment".

Rate of return to work : Percentage of working persons as of the survey date to persons who left jobs during the past 5 years.

Fig. 12   Rate of return to work by sex, age and reason for leaving the previous job during the past 5 years

9.The shift from regular to irregular is under way as seen in changing the type of employment.

- Of employed persons, changes between the type of employment during the past 5 years shows a shift is under way from the regular staffs to irregular employees such as part-time workers, and arbeit (temporary workers).

- Of persons who changed usual labour force status from regular staffs during the past 5 years, those who changed to irregular employees accounted for 35.5% (2,117,000 persons), while of persons who changed usual labour force status from irregular employees, persons who were able to change to regular staffs accounted for 24.8% (1,134,000).

Fig.13 Employed persons changes between the type of employment during the past 5 years

10.Persons experienced changing jobs account for approximately 50%.

- The ratio of persons engaged in work who have formerly experienced changing job is 48.4%, nearly a half.

- A breakdown of the ratio of persons with an experience of leaving jobs by last school graduated from shows 52.7% for the graduates from high schools, while those from universities or graduate schools show lower ratio at 38.0%.

- A breakdown of the ratio of persons with an experience of leaving jobs shows that up to the latter half of 30s, the ratio is lower as academic career is higher, while for persons 60 years old or more, the order of academic career is nearly reversed.

Fig. 14  Whether changed jobs by final school graduated from
Fig. 15  Ratio of persons who have experience in changing jobs since starting to work by age group and final school graduated from

11.Ratio of "Engaged in work" by prefectures.

- High ratios of "Engaged in work" are shown by prefectures centering around Tokai and Hokuriku regions such as Fukui-ken (63.5%), Shizuoka-ken (63.2%), and Aichi-ken (63.1%). 
[Top 5 prefectures] 
Fukui-ken (63.5%), Shizuoka-ken (63.2%), Aichi-ken (63.1%), Nagano-ken (63.0%), and Ishikawa-ken (62.9%)

Ratio of 'Engaged in work' by prefectures.

12.Ratio of "Changed a job" by prefectures.

- High ratios of "Changed a job" are shown by Okinawa-ken (6.2%), prefectures having large cities, and their neighboring prefectures. 
[Top 5 prefectures] 
Okinawa-ken (6.2%), Fukuoka-ken (5.9%), Kanagawa-ken (5.8%), Saitama-ken (5.7%), Tokyo-to (do.), Shiga-ken (do.), and Osaka-fu (do.)

Ratio of 'Changed a job' by prefectures.

13.Ratio of "Quitted a job" by prefectures.

- High ratios are shown by prefectures centering around Kinki region such as Osaka-fu (7.7%). 
[Top 5 prefectures] 
Osaka-fu (7.7%), Nara-ken (7.4%), Fukuoka-ken (7.4%), Okinawa-ken (7.2%), and Hyogo-ken (7.1%)

Ratio of 'Quitted a job' by prefectures.

backhome 

Top of this page